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Nick Kyrgios says he regards Andy Murray
Nick Kyrgios says he regards Andy Murray
One of my better mates on tour” and the feeling is undoubtedly mutual but the Australian arrives here in the sort of form that could destroy the former world No 1 when he makes his comeback on Tuesday.
Kyrgios, who frightened the life out of Roger Federer in a thrilling three-set semi-final in Stuttgart on Saturday, said of Murray’s absence since Wimbledon last year: “It’s been pretty shitty without him. I’m looking forward to going out there and playing. But
to see him healthy is obviously the main thing. He’s awesome for the sport.”They have both struggled with injuries over the past year, Murray risking surgery on his hip in January to save his career, Kyrgios dealing with a recurring elbow problem that seems to have finally left him in peace – as he has done with Murray.
“We kept in touch a little bit but he’s a busy man,” Kyrgios said. “The last thing he wants is to see me blowing up his phone. Probably can’t take me seriously. My elbow is fine. I have zero pain now and I played three quality matches
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in Stuttgart. Obviously I was
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pretty disappointed I didn’t win against Roger but it was a good match. I was in complete control in the third-set tie-break at one stage. I’m feeling good. My
level is still there.“I know he’s going to make a lot of balls. He loves playing on grass. I know how he plays. I watched a little of him today in practice. He looked fine.”
Murray, who has won this title
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five times, returns after 11 months away hoping just to be competitive. “There’s never a time when you feel perfect,” he told the BBC. “It’s not a gamble in terms that I’m going to re-injure my hip. But if I missed the grasscourt season and tried to play in five weeks’ time the same doubts would be there.“You re-evaluate. You find that out by being out there. It’s very different from the controlled environment of the practice court. I didn’t want to get back on the match court until I felt I could compete. Hopefully the body responds well. I expect to be a bit stiff and sore after
“Obviously I’d love to win the tournament but I’m not thinking about that. It’s about seeing where my game’s at, hopefully moving well and not restricted. I think it’s still possible to compete [for a grand slam title] but, after you’ve been out as long as I have, that’s not how it works. The expectations from me are very low right now. I’ll reassess my goals when
I’m back competing.”He said the medical feedback after his operation in January has been, “really positive” but no surgeon could assess his match fitness.
Earlier Stan Wawrinka, one of a slew of leading players trying to keep their bodies in one piece for Wimbledon in a fortnight, looked as strong as ever when he thrashed Britain’s Cameron Norrie on the Queen’s grass in less than an hour, 6-2, 6-3.Norrie, who has risen to 80 in the world in his first full season on Tour, struggled to cope with Wawrinka’s power from hand and off the ground in the first set, and never properly got into the contest in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships.Wawrinka, a three-times grand slam winner, quickly reminded Norrie of his pedigree when he broke for 3-1 and held as the second set slipped quickly from the Briton’s grasp.
Norrie served through deuce in the seventh game to stay alive, calmly putting away a forehand volley, but there was not a lot he could do about the Swiss’s serve,
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as Wawrinka held to love with his 13th ace of the match. It was a chastening experience for the British No 2.“He managed his serve very well,” Norrie said. “It was tough for me to get into the rallies. I didn’t serve that great. I didn’t really feel comfortable on my feet. I felt like out on the corners I was going to slip and I didn’t really want to tear up my hip or anything.”
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